Staff Sergeant Delbert O. Jennings was an Army NCO whose bravery during a pitched battle at LZ (Landing Zone) Bird in South Vietnam on December 27, 1966, would result in him being awarded the Medal of Honor.
Jennings was born in Silver City, New Mexico in July of 1936. He joined the Army in San Francisco in 1956. Ten years later, Jennings was a Staff Sergeant in Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Division. His unit was assigned to LZ Bird, a forward artillery base that provided fire support for the Cavalry in the Kim Son Valley.
The base was small, only about 250 meters long and 80 meters wide, and was bordered by the Kim Son River. Jennings was part of an undermanned weapons platoon, with only 22 troops, some of whom were green replacements. They were supposed to defend the northern sector of the perimeter.
The firebase had a dozen 155mm howitzers on the northern perimeter and 105mm howitzers along the southern edge. Along with the weapons platoon were grunts from C Co., 1st Bn., 12th Inf. Regt., 1st Air Cav Division. The total American force consisted of less than 200 soldiers.